Landscape Alaska: The language of summer | Juneau Empire

This essay by David Lendrum reminds us of the ever-vibrant language of the plants around us. The lusty beckoning of these stationary species entices us to spread their seed and instead of speaking, their language is written in the intoxicating aroma of a lilac or the mouthwatering taste of a crab apple. Every plant has its own love notes to draw in its intended, and Lendrum shares a few of his favorites.

Last week the Pacific crabapples burst forth into glorious flowering, suddenly appearing where we had forgotten them. They pop out along the edges of the wetlands, in ditches and alongside the roads. Wreathed in white flower clusters, they announce to the world that they are interested, that they are available, and that they are actively seeking contact.

Lilacs call to other lilacs, rhododendrons to rhododendrons, and even irises to other irises. This is the way of the world, and was ever so, long before we were around to notice such things.

This time of year the symphony of plant life is at crescendo level, and our big deep-voiced, basso profundos, the spruce trees, are just about to start their songs. When they let loose it is a reminder that there really are some heavy hitters in the world, the mass release of the Spruce Pollen only lasts a couple of days, but it coats every surface. This is a reminder that even before there were insects to pollinate flowers, there was life, pollination and reproduction.

 

Source: The language of summer | Juneau Empire

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